Scope and Content
Title: George E. Tillitson collection on railroads,
Date (inclusive): 1880-1940
Collection number: Special Collections M0165
Tillitson, George E.
34 linear ft.
Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
Restricted: requires 24 hr. paging period.
Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain
permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.
Gift of George E. Tillitson, 1955.
[Identification of item] George E. Tillitson collection on railroads, M0165, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University
Libraries, Stanford, Calif.
Scope and Content
Collection contains outlined corporate histories of railroads in the United States and Canada. The collection covers almost
every railroad that ever operated in the United States and Canada and includes some records of roads that were projected though
never built, and some information on street car lines and electric interurban lines. These outlines are in long hand on loose
leaf 8½ × 11 inches notebook paper. They include dates of incorporation, brief sketches of the history of the line, lists
of points served, lists of mileage, and occasionally time schedules, maps of lines, and lists or reports of accidents on the
lines. Unfortunately, the collection is incomplete, and the information provided is much more extensive for the larger lines.
Information is arranged alphabetically by state and, within the state, alphabetically by name of company. An index of all
companies listed in the files has been provided by the collector.
The Tillitson Manuscript is essentially a
Railroad List which is unique in the degree of detail.
The area covered is the
United States and
Canada, with some material on Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and a little on Mexico. Whose files, together with the District of
Columbia are in a separate box. The states are arranged in alphabetical order, and Canadian Provinces occupy a separate box.
The material fills twenty-five file drawers.
The listings within a state are a single alphabetical listing of all Railroads (public carriers), Street Railways (of all
types), Private Railroads (logging and construction RRs chiefly here) and a few others.
all railroads, including the ephemeral ones conceived, yet never built, by chance that many were incorporated, but few built:
Likowise, a vast number of early, independantly built short lines became absorbed into the greater large company operations;
other railroads built as separate entities were actually subsidiaries or owned companies; and a vast confusion came to exist
through reorganization and changes of name due to bank ruptcies and similar troubles.
These myriad changes have produced a tremendously complex structure, to which this material provides a useful and available
key for students.
Anyone wishing to become thoroughly familiar with the transportation background of an area - a state or a regional section
of the United States or Canada - can do so through the medium of this manuscript.
Such a study can be concentrated on a given portion of time - early, or Railroads of Oregon in 1900, etc. - or as to type
of carrier, or mode of power, steam, electric - and the companies operating, trackage involved and other pertinent data readily
Equipment - particularly motive power - is usually tabulated. Very Little operating data is given as to amount and number
of trains daily; nor are there very often maps except for the lLarger company files. Timetables were not in this portion of
One very useful feature of the material is further described in the two attached pages. This is the carefully annotated study
of a good many of the important large railroads of the United States complete within their own files, these to be found within
the official state of incorporation. Here will be included page references to the frequently huge number of small short-line
roads that usually wound up by being taken in to the larger and expending Class II and I roads. Some of these files, such
as the New York Central or the Pennsylvania Railroad are very big themselves.
Michigan, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Washington are large because the many lumber railroads have been extensively studied out.
Within the State file for Washington, the lumber railroads make a separate alphabetical order.
signed: W.B.B., Palo Alto, May 15, 1955